The rise of Maine’s high basketball coaches and gamers sometimes has roots throughout the confines of the enjoying floor, be it at a neighborhood recreation middle, highschool and faculty gymnasiums, or the state’s largest arenas.
However for a lot of members of the Maine Basketball Corridor of Fame Class of 2021 that had been inducted Sunday on the Anah Temple Shriners Corridor in Bangor, simply as a lot of that basis might be discovered at dwelling, the place competitors usually was eager however household help was unwavering.
For inductee Dick Whitmore III, a former standout guard at Waterville Excessive College and Brown College, a lot of that early competitors got here towards a 2016 Maine Basketball Corridor of Famer, his brother Kevin.
“There was at all times a time in day by day after we competed in one thing,” Whitmore mentioned. “It was actually nice to have that stage of camaraderie with someone so shut.”
The Whitmore brothers had been preceded within the MBHoF in 2014 by their father Dick, the longtime former males’s basketball coach at Colby Faculty, and collectively they now characterize the primary trio from the identical family to be inducted. The Whitmores had been simply considered one of a number of familial connections on this yr’s class of inductees.
“My dad was so supportive however by no means pushed something on us,” mentioned Dick III, who later adopted his father’s footsteps as a coach at Daniel Webster Faculty, Kenyon Faculty and Wesleyan College earlier than shifting into sports activities administration. He presently is govt affiliate athletic director at Dartmouth Faculty.
“He needed us to return upon basketball on our personal and that was maybe why we loved it a lot, as a result of we by no means felt prefer it was compelled.”
One other new inductee, former Cony of Augusta basketball standout and present College of Maine girls’s basketball coach Amy Vachon, can recognize lots of Whitmore’s sentiments. Her dad, Paul Vachon, additionally was a coach and a member of the corridor’s first induction class in 2014.
“I grew up at my dad’s practices working round, it was simply a part of our life,” she mentioned. “He was actually good, particularly after I performed for him. We by no means actually talked about it loads at dwelling, however rising up he’d have coaches over to observe movie and I’d be within the different room sort of watching. It was simply a part of our household and our prolonged household.”
Vachon and Whitmore had been two of 17 honorees in a class that originally was selected in 2020 but had to wait a year to be inducted attributable to COVID-19.
Others chosen had been Lynn Bay Morang, Sharon Bay, Andy Bedard, Arnold “Arnie” Clark, T.J. Caouette, Heidi Deery, Tony DiBiase, Gerry Duffy, Phil Faulkner, Ed Feeney, David Halligan, Elizabeth “Biz” Houghton, Gavin Kane, Ken Lynch and Chris Sawyer.
Clark and Duffy had been honored posthumously.
Additionally acknowledged had been seven Legends of the Sport: Bryce Beattie, Ray Bicknell, Al Card (posthumous), Peter Gribbin, Jim Poulin, Steve Shaw and Mike Thurston, in addition to the 1987 Morse Excessive College of Tub boys basketball group, which captured the primary of the college’s three straight Class A state championships below head coach Tom Maines.
Sharon Bay and Lynn Bay Morang turned the primary siblings to be inducted into the Maine Basketball Corridor of Fame in the identical yr after starring for a few of Portland Excessive College’s powerhouse groups of the mid- and late-Eighties after which shifting on to separate Division I basketball careers.
Whereas the sisters simply missed being varsity teammates at Portland, they turned opponents for a yr in faculty when Sharon was a freshman on the College of Vermont and Lynn was a senior at Boston College.
“We gained in Vermont and she or he gained in Boston,” Sharon mentioned, simply earlier than Lynn accomplished the thought with, “which was good for my mother and father.”
With one other sister among the many household’s 5 kids, Stacey, enjoying at Bowdoin Faculty on the similar time, it made for a busy journey schedule for fogeys John and Ann Bay.
“Between common season and tournaments my mother and father went to 75 basketball video games that yr,” Sharon mentioned.
The sisters mentioned their progress within the sport featured a standard software throughout the pre-AAU days: a yard basket.
“Rising up with 5 youngsters, someone was at all times enjoying one thing so that you’d at all times have somebody to play with. My dad finally got here to the belief that a few us could also be fairly good at it so he put the yard hoop up,” Morang mentioned.
“However the basketball hoop was towards the wall of the storage so that you needed to do a layup a sure method. It wasn’t something fancy but it surely was simply a great way to attach with one another and in addition get higher.”
And whereas there was on-court competitors between the sisters at instances, it finally was outmoded by household unity, which made Sunday’s shared induction much more rewarding.
“I feel that’s most likely the most effective a part of it,” Morang mentioned. “After we had been strolling in to satisfy with the remainder of the inductees, I mentioned to Sharon, ‘I’m so glad you’re right here with me.’”
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